FIG1 This year marks the 15th
anniversary of the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF), the educational and
philanthropic arm of APA. In leading an organization of the size and
complexity of APA, leveraging the unique strengths of each of our subsidiary
organizations is crucial to our overall success. Over the years, the
foundation has matured into a valued partner in our work on behalf of the
profession of psychiatry and our patients.
The foundation bolsters APA's mission, fostering a collaborative
relationship in key areas including public education about mental illness and
its treatment, research to improve access to care, mental health in
underserved communities, outreach to medical students, and disaster-recovery
In 2005 the APF awarded more than $250,000 in grants to community-based
organizations whose innovative programs promote the early recognition and
treatment of mental illness. From high schools to college campuses, from
remote rural communities to urban neighborhoods, the foundation supports
initiatives that combat stigma, provide accurate information about mental
illness, and encourage people in need to seek treatment.
A $700,000, five-year APF grant to the American Psychiatric Institute for
Research and Education (APIRE) will be used to assess barriers to mental
health care and identify strategies to improve access to treatment. Foundation
funding has enabled APIRE to pursue projects concerned with improving quality
of care and access to evidence-based psychiatric treatments, improving
treatment of depression in primary care and psychiatric practice settings, and
advancing the treatment of schizophrenia.
The APF has responded to unmet needs by creating grants and awards that
encourage medical students, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals to
work with underserved populations and make significant contributions to their
The Helping Hands Grant Program, launched in 2005, serves the dual purposes
of promoting psychiatry among medical students and supporting students' giving
back to their communities through charitable mental health services. The first
$5,000 Helping Hands grants were awarded to students at Cleveland Clinic
Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, New Jersey
Medical School, and University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
These initiatives include student-run efforts to improve understanding of
mental health issues among middle-school students, mental health literacy
screening as part of routine health care at a community health center, and a
program to improve identification and treatment of postpartum mood disorders.
The grants are supported through an unrestricted educational grant from Otsuka
America Pharmaceutical Inc.
To recognize the outstanding work of psychiatrists and mental health
professionals in raising awareness of mental illness and increasing access to
care in underserved minority communities, the foundation annually presents the
APF Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health to clinicians and programs.
Four recipients each receive a $5,000 award. The 2005 recipients were
Alejandro (Alex) Kopelowicz, M.D., of Granada Hills, Calif.; the Family
Practice and Counseling Network Behavioral Health Department of Philadelphia,
Pa.; Terry Reilly Health Services Farmworker Mental Health Program in Nampa,
Idaho; and United Indian Health Services of Arcata, Calif. The awards were
made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Otsuka America
In response to the devastating impact of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast,
the APF and APA collaboratively formed the Disaster Relief Fund for
Psychiatrists to assist psychiatrists and psychiatry residents who have been
adversely affected by disasters such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
This initiative provides grant funding of up to $2,500 to allow psychiatry
residents to continue their medical training and to help psychiatrists rebuild
The breadth of the foundation's work grows each year, as does its value to
APA. I encourage you to join your colleagues in supporting these efforts
through a charitable, tax-deductible contribution to the foundation. For more
information, visit the APF Web site at<www.psychfoundation.org>.
We value your ideas, support, and membership! ▪